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About the Author
Donna Norton. Following the completion of her doctorate at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Donna E. Norton joined the College of Education faculty at Texas A&M University where she now holds the rank of professor. She teaches courses in children's literature, language arts, and reading. Dr. Norton is the recipient of the Texas A&M Faculty Distinguished Achievement Award in Teaching. This award is given "in recognition and appreciation of ability, personality, and methods which have resulted in distinguished achievements in the teaching and the inspiration of students." She is also the recipient of the Virginia Hamilton Essay Award, presented by the Virginia Hamilton Conference Advisory Board at Kent State University. This annual award recognizes an article that "makes a significant contribution to the professional literature concerning multicultural literature experiences for youth." She is listed in Who's Who of American Women, Who's Who in America, and Who's Who in the World. Several of her articles and chapters from books have been translated into Chinese and are used in Chinese universities.
Dr. Norton is the author of four books in addition to this volume: The Effective Teaching of Language Arts, 6th edition, Through the Eyes of a Child: An Introduction to Children's Literature, 6th edition, Multicultural Children's Literature: Through the Eyes of Many Children, and The Impact of Literature-Based Reading. Her publications include 20 textbooks and over 100 journal articles. At the international level, she has been on the International Reading Association's Lee Bennett Hopkins Promising PoetCommittee, President of the International Society of Educational Biography, on numerous editorial boards for professional journals, and presenter at international conferences including the Conference on Children's Literature at Providence University in Taiwan. The focus of her current research is on the authentication of biographical literature, historical fiction, and multicultural literature. She is also researching the literature and writing connection. Funded research has supported institutes in children's literature and the literacy connection as well as graduate courses that enables students to study children's literature and reading instruction in England and Scotland. She is currently the Grant Writing Chair for the Bush Museum Storytellers Guild. Her work with the Texas A& M University Evans Library and the Bush Library has resulted in several Storytelling Festivals that highlight the work of distinguished storytellers and provide training for university students in the art of storytelling.
Prior to her college teaching experience, Dr. Norton was an elementary teacher in River Falls, Wisconsin and in Madison, Wisconsin. She was a Language Arts/Reading Consultant for federally funded kindergarten through adult basic education programs. In this capacity she developed and provided in-service instruction, and evaluated kindergarten programs, summer reading and library programs, remedial reading programs, learning disability programs for middle school children, elementary and secondary literature programs for the gifted, and diagnostic and intervention programs for reading-disabled adults. Dr. Norton's continuing concern for literature results in frequent consultations with educators from various disciplines, librarians, and school administrators and teachers.
Saundra Norton completed her master's degree at Texas A&M University where she majored in American literature with an emphasis in children's literature and textual bibliography. Under the sponsorship of a Jordon Fellowship she studied German language, culture, and folklore at the Goethe Institute in Germany. Her current academic concentration is in 19th century American literature and biographical studies. She is a frequent participant at both national and international conferences. Her paper presented at the 15th International Ezra Pound Conference in Italy was presented the Bates Award for the best essay written by a graduate student while in the doctoral program at the University of South Carolina. Saundra has won numerous competitions for her writing including being selected for the Prague Summer Seminars, the Paris Writer's Workshop, Bread Loaf Writer's Conference at Middlebury College, in Middlebury, Vermont, and Sewanee Writer's Conference at the University of the South. Her poetry has been published in several scholarly journals and she has given poetry readings in Prague, Key West, Paris, and at Wesleyan College. She is listed in Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges. Saundra is the co-author of Language Arts Activities for Children, 5th edition, and a contributing author of Through the Eyes of a Child: An Introduction to Children's Literature.
Table of Contents1. Creative Language Activities.
2. Oral Language and Cognitive Development Activities.
3. Listening Activities.
4. Writing Activities.
5. Activities for the Mechanics of Language.
6. Activities for Literature.
7. Media Activities.
8. Multicultural Activities.
9. Technology and the Language Arts.
Bringing effective language arts instruction into the classroom is an exciting experience for both children and teachers. Stimulating activities add sparkle to the environment and enrich children's learning experiences. However, we are living in a time when educators are facing criticism about the effectiveness of instruction, the development of language arts competencies in the classroom, and the ability of schools to meet the needs of a diverse school population. Unfortunately, adding stimulation and enrichment to the environment and effectively meeting competency needs in language arts may be considered opposing goals. This activities book illustrates how teachers can use effective teaching methods and strategies to build children's language arts skills as well as create a stimulating, enriched environment.
The activities in this book include many opportunities for the integration of the language arts across the curriculum. Because of the growing demand for literacy instruction, most of the activities include selections of children's literature that may be used to focus the lesson and to expand interest in and knowledge of children's literature. These activities also emphasize the importance of oral and written language in the development of language arts capabilities.
This is a very practical bookall activities are developed in a lesson plan format. All of the activities have been tested in school environments, with inservice teachers, and in teacher education classrooms. We found that effective teaching requires a model for lesson plan development, clearly stipulated objectives, and step-by-step development of the lesson. We also discovered that peerteaching, student teaching, and in-service classroom teaching improved when the methods stressed in language arts classes were demonstrated through lesson plan development. The lesson plans in the multicultural section were developed, implemented, and evaluated as part of a multicultural research project designed to improve students' language arts abilities. The lesson plans in the literature and composition sections were developed, implemented, and evaluated as part of literature and writing research projects. The plans can be implemented directly by the teacher, modified for individual needs, or used as a model for additional activities. The activities in the technology section were developed to explore ways that language arts teachers may effectively use computers and the Internet to assist instruction.